March time off took us to Sri Lanka. We flew into Colombo late and spent 3 nights at a beautiful boutique hotel called D Pavilion Inn. The hotel is owned by Sri Lanka star cricketer Thilakaratne Dilshan. Breakfast was served right outside our room in the courtyard. Lovely. The staff are just amazing and so helpful. They arranged for us a tuk tuk and we spent several hours zipping through busy traffic seeing the sites of the city. It was so hot and we were glad to get back to our hotel pool.
The second day we ordered the Sri Lankan breakfast and it became a daily favourite everywhere we went. You have to order it the night before because it takes so long to prepare. Later we walked around for several hours. Grant got his hair cut which is always an event. While he was doing that, I was searching out where to go for a refreshment and I found just the place. A rooftop bar at a Ozo Hotel on the ocean just a few blocks away. We use an app called “AroundMe” and it’s fantastic. We returned later for Happy Hour with new friends that we met at the hotel. Was fun.
It was time to move on and the hotel arranged a car and driver for us. Instead of the highway we took the road along the water. It was a long crazy drive with lots to see. The traffic in Sri Lanka is nuts. We headed south of Galle to a small town called Unawatuna. We stayed at a little place right on the beach called Thaproban Beachhouse. We went for massages and then found a little Italian place for dinner that night. The next day we took a tuk tuk into Galle and walked around Galle Fort. Lots of history and beautiful old buildings. Dinner that night was fantastic at a little place at the end of the beach called Banana Garden. We were the only ones there but the food was so good.
We had gone without a plan but with the help of a lovely young lady at the front desk of our hotel, we figured out the rest of our trip. We hired a car and driver and booked the remaining nights hotels.
Our next stop was going to be a safari in Yala National Park. That was the best $100 we even spent. Our guide had 30 years experience and he drove like a madman. Down trails off the main roads and he didn’t like to follow the queue with the other guides. In 4 short hours we saw elephants, a leopard, water buffalo, crocodile, monkeys, wild pig, deer and tons of birds. We stayed that night a the beautiful Cinnamon Wild right on the edge of the park and after sundown you have to call to have someone walk you to the restaurant because of the roaming wild animals. So cool!
The next day we drove to Ella. The scenery is beautiful. We stayed at the worst hotel we have ever stayed in called Ella Mount Heaven. It was dreadful except for the view. Website and photos can be very deceiving! We changed rooms 3 times and then we just sucked it up for the one night.
The next day we drove to Kandy. The tea plantations along the way are beautiful. We stayed at another Cinnamon hotel called Cinnamon Citadel Kandy.
One more day and another long drive. It can take 4 to 6 hours to drive 135 km. But we just sat back and enjoyed the views. We arrived at our final hotel ,The Beach All Suites Hotel. Right on the beach in Negombo near the airport and a pleasant surprise. We had dinner on the rooftop and enjoyed the sunset. We were up early the next morning for our 3.5 hour flight back to Bangkok. We flew with SriLankan Airlines and we preferred them over the Thai Airways flight we took over. Sri Lanka is a beautiful country with really nice people and excellent food. We loved the curries and string hoppers and egg hoppers. We already have a plan for how we would “do it” next time. Less driving and more flying.